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The Effects of a Passive Exoskeleton on Human Thermal Responses in Temperate and Cold Environments

School of Mechanical Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710000, China
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Academic Editor: Ivo Iavicoli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3889; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083889
Received: 9 March 2021 / Revised: 29 March 2021 / Accepted: 30 March 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
The exoskeleton as functional wearable equipment has been increasingly used in working environments. However, the effects of wearing an exoskeleton on human thermal responses are still unknown. In this study, 10 male package handlers were exposed to 10 °C (COLD) and 25 °C (TEMP) ambient temperatures while performing a 10 kg lifting task (LIFTING) and sedentary (REST) both with (EXO) and without the exoskeleton (WEXO). Thermal responses, including the metabolic rate and mean skin temperature (MST), were continuously measured. Thermal comfort, thermal sensation and sweat feeling were also recorded. For LIFTING, metabolic heat production is significant decrease with the exoskeleton support. The MST and thermal sensation significantly increase when wearing the exoskeleton, but thermal discomfort and sweating are only aggravated in TEMP. For REST, MST and thermal sensation are also increased by the exoskeleton, and there is no significant difference in the metabolic rate between EXO and WEXO. The thermal comfort is significantly improved by wearing the exoskeleton only in COLD. The results suggest that the passive exoskeleton increases the local clothing insulation, and the way of wearing reduces the “pumping effect”, which makes a difference in the thermal response between COLD and TEMP. Designers need to develop appropriate usage strategies according to the operative temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: exoskeleton; thermal response; metabolic heat production; thermal comfort; thermal sensation exoskeleton; thermal response; metabolic heat production; thermal comfort; thermal sensation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; Li, X.; Lai, J.; Zhu, A.; Zhang, X.; Zheng, Z.; Zhu, H.; Shi, Y.; Wang, L.; Chen, Z. The Effects of a Passive Exoskeleton on Human Thermal Responses in Temperate and Cold Environments. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3889. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083889

AMA Style

Liu Y, Li X, Lai J, Zhu A, Zhang X, Zheng Z, Zhu H, Shi Y, Wang L, Chen Z. The Effects of a Passive Exoskeleton on Human Thermal Responses in Temperate and Cold Environments. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):3889. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083889

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liu, Yang; Li, Xiaoling; Lai, Jiarui; Zhu, Aibin; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zheng, Ziming; Zhu, Huijin; Shi, Yueyang; Wang, Long; Chen, Zhangyi. 2021. "The Effects of a Passive Exoskeleton on Human Thermal Responses in Temperate and Cold Environments" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 8: 3889. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083889

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